A senior Pakistani prosecutor, who is in-charge of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks case and the Benazir Bhutto murder case, has sought security as his life is under threat.
Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) special prosecutor Mohammad Azhar Chaudhry did not turn up on Saturday for a hearing in the case related to the killing of the former prime minister citing security concerns.
The case, hearing of which has been postponed to March 22, was being heard by Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) judge Pervez
Joya within the premises of the Adiyala prison in Rawalpindi.
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Court officials told PTI that Chaudhry has moved an application seeking security arrangements for himself. They, however, did not elaborate on the exact kind of threats. The News daily on Sunday reported that in the last hearing, Azhar had told the court that the Punjab government had “withdrawn” his security despite being aware that he had received life threats.
“I am facing security threats. If I am not provided with the required security, I will disassociate myself from this case,” he had informed the court. The FIA prosecutor told the court that he was contesting a high-profile case on behalf of the State, but the State was not providing him with any security.
Azhar, who took over as special prosecutor in the case last year, assumed the position after his predecessor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali was shot dead in Islamabad in May. The lawyer is also the prosecution chief in the Mumbai terror attacks case, in which LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi is one of the seven accused.
In Pakistan’s high-profile criminal and terror-related cases, the job of prosecutors as well as of the defence counsels is perilous. The recent terror attack on the Islamabad Local Court has raised concerns among the lawyer community.
Interestingly, the Mumbai case court is also based in the same premises though the hearings are mostly held at the Adiyala jail.